2020 Executive programs

National Security College Building

National Security College courses are developed and facilitated by experienced officials seconded from the Australian Government, with input from our academic staff. The college’s unique nature as a Commonwealth-ANU partnership allows us to assemble a high level mix of academic expert and policy practitioner perspectives. These comes from an unparalleled register of more than 400 experts and serving or former policy leaders from around Australia, with the option of bringing in international expertise as well.

Each program draws on leading authorities from around Australia and internationally to ensure that it involves the highest standard of policy relevant expertise. The pedagogical approach emphasises independence and diversity of views among our presenters.

The Executive Development programs below are targeted at specific cohorts of national security professionals based on experience and seniority. The duration of courses builds from a week (Introduction) to four weeks (SES) in length. To ensure balance and diversity of participation, there are sometimes limits to the number of officials an organisation can nominate for each iteration of a program.

Introduction to National Security: Critical Conversations

This engaging three-day program introduces participants to the central issues, threats, challenges and opportunities that underpin Australia’s national security environment. Participants will improve their understanding of Australia’s national security environment; hear from a range of thought leaders and experts; build a network; and enhance their ability to conduct critical conversations.

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EL1 National Security Development Program: Framing the Future

This interactive and practical nine-day program will deepen participants’ understanding of the national security community and the range of strategic challenges it faces - now and into the future. Participants will gain insight into the issues and forces of change affecting the strategic environment; build lasting professional networks; and gain exposure to a diversity of views and critical thinking on how Australia’s national security future might best be framed.

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EL2 National Security Development Program: Navigating Uncertainty

This stimulating three-week program provides participants with in-depth exposure to the full range of issues and challenges facing Australia’s national security community, with a focus on strategic thinking, critical analysis, policy-making, partnership-building and adaptive leadership principles.

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SES National Security Development Program: Leading in Complexity

The National Security College’s premium program provides exceptional depth of insight across the full spectrum of Australia’s national security challenges and opportunities. Participants will leave the program with up-to-date knowledge and a sophisticated understanding of national security priorities and issues; deep and diverse professional networks; insights from experts with a range of views; and a renewed ability to lead effectively in complexity.

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We pride ourselves on highly interactive methodologies. Across all programs, sessions include opportunities for open and trusted interaction with outstanding policy leaders. We make extensive use of syndicate groups, panel discussions, case studies, hypotheticals and scenarios to test and develop ideas. These exercises provide participants with an opportunity to take key themes from presentations and apply them to practical questions of national security policy-making and implementation. We also internationalise the experience through videoconferencing with experts and diplomatic missions overseas.

We challenge participants to broaden their horizons while emphasising the ‘so what?’ for policy. Our course design and delivery process is built around consultation, ensuring that programs are consistent with national security practitioner expectations and requirements. Participants benefit from our highly professional course administration and logistics and dedicated course management team. Days at the NSC are full, and you can expect to be completely immersed in the learning and networking experience.

Courses are now available for registration please select a course on the date that best suits you.

Executive development programs guide

Download the guide (PDF, 1.7MB)

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‘The National Security College is a joint initiative of the Commonwealth Government and The Australian National University’

Updated:  26 January 2020/Responsible Officer:  Head of College, National Security College/Page Contact:  Web administrator